When My Ship Comes In: Winter Gear Wishlist

While Carl is something of a hound for gadgets, I’ve always been a traditionalist. When it comes to travel gear, I tend to go or inexpensive and or classic. I’ve never ventured into the shadowy region of lightweight $400 tents and camelbacks; it seems a slippery slope for someone on my budget. However, I may be taking a turn to the dark side. Last year I reviewed The Ultimate Hang, which opened my eyes to the culture of hammock camping […]

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Letter from a Reader: Easy Walks in Oaxaca's Sierra Norte?

Couple stands in front of agave on hike in Oaxaca mountains.

A reader writes: I hope this is not too detailed a question, but I have not found information elsewhere so I thought I would give you a try. My husband and I are visiting Oaxaca  and had looked forward to visiting the villages and enjoying the natural beauty of the Sierra Norte for a few days. Unfortunately, my husband is recovering from a pulled muscle. He is fine to walk around, explore villages, (sit on a bench and enjoy a […]

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Mexico's "Crown Jewel" Toll Road Opens

The headline title is amped-up for a good reason – the new Mex 40-D certainly could be a contender as “The Eighth Wonder Of The World.” Carving and spanning it’s way through mountains and across deep gorges of the southern Copper Canyon, the highway is considered a marvel by engineers all over the globe. More than a hundred tunnels and bridges were necessary in its construction and the Baluarte Bridge roadway is suspended more than a quarter-mile above the canyon […]

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The People's Guide to Why Your Car Won't Start

Steve Rogers and Carl Franz wearing sombreros.

editor’s note: El Codo is a retired lead acid battery design engineer and battery performance tester You don’t need any tools or mechanical “savvy” to do this diagnostic. Print this page out. Fold it, and stick inside the glove box. If you turn the key and your car plays possum, calmly sit back and breeze through this diagnostic checklist. Let’s Diagnose! If you turn the key and the starter motor whirrs but does not start the engine, it means the […]

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Can I Rent a Car in Mexico and Drive to Panama?

  Just received this missive from a reader: Hi.  I can’t find any useful information about the logistics of renting a car in Mexico (Cancun), and driving it south to Panama.  Is it possible?  What papers would I need (other than passport)?  Please help! I’m not in the habit of renting cars in Mexico, and I’ve never driven as far south as Panama. Anyone got anything on this?

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Historical Photo of the Week: On the Road with Steve Rogers

family in van

Our friend Tia just sent me this stellar photo. This pretty much sums up my childhood growing up in a van down by the river. This particular van was named Zebu, after the white humped back cows you sometimes see along Mexican roadsides. I (the toothy child) am sitting on my bed, an oblong plywood box that doubled as a storage compartment. Note the sweet roof rack, the sacred cooler in the foreground, the lucky “God’s eye” hanging from the […]

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Road to Bahia Tortugas, Baja?

Flag of baja california sur

  A reader writes: Need to meet a boat In Turtle Bay in June – – – wondering what the road condition will from the main highway to Turtle? Codo answers: When you are in the town of Vizcanio, fill up your tank at the Pemex gasolinera on your right before the intersection to Tortugas. There is a gasolinera in Bahia Tortugas but it’s an awful long way in case it’s out of gas. In Vizcaino, there will be a […]

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Jenny Hannah Roche's Mexico Stash

Girl floats in water wearing black vintage bathing suit.

On my most recent trip to Mexico, I was lucky enough to have photographer Jenny Hannah Roche in tow. Roche camped with us near Tenacatita and was able to document significant local events such as the umpteenth annual Coco Open coconut golf tournament and a trip to Mosca and Cuca’s for fresh caught huachinango. With the enthusiasm of a kid in a candy shop, Jenny was typically exclaiming in delight, or crouching to shoot, or running off to check out […]

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Birding Hikes in the Copper Canyon?

Michael Huckaby hikes the Copper Canyon.

Erin writes: I’m a gal traveling solo (with dog) and plan on spending 1.5 weeks in the Barrancas del Cobre region and am looking for advice. I have a truck and a safe place to keep it in Baltopilas and Creel. I am an avid birder and naturalist and am looking for some birdy multiday and day hikes. Do you have any insight as to good spots for eared quetzal or military macaws? I just finished reading the PG and […]

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More on the Hidden Perks of the Mexican Bus System

I found myself alone around noon on a 1st class bus just north of Mazatlan. I watched with curiosity as the “ayudante,” the driver’s helper, worked his way back to my seat midway down the length of the vehicle. “¿You speak Spanish?” I replied to the affirmative. “¿Do you like pollo al carbon estilo Sinaloense?” Yes of course I love charcoal grilled chicken. Why the questions, I wondered? “Si!” Me gusta pollo al carbon estilo Sinaloense.” Without another word the […]

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